No. 73.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Hall.

No. 516.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge receipt of your No. 710, of September 28, concerning the proposed Spanish Central American line of steamers, and to say that the Department has also received from the vice-president and the secretary of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company letters bearing upon that subject.

[Page 91]

Copies of this correspondence were promptly submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, with a view to the application of the provisions of section 2502 of the Revised Statutes of the United States. Pending final decision by the fiscal authorities, however, a letter was received from the secretary of the Pacific Mail Company, dated the 17th instant, saying that they were in receipt of advices to the effect that the discriminating duty imposed by Guatemala against American vessels would soon be withdrawn, and expressing the belief that the other States of Central America would recede from their unjust position in this regard.

A copy of this letter was likewise communicated to the Secretary of the Treasury, who, under date of the 25th ultimo, replied that unless further advised his Department would take no action at present toward exacting the discriminating duty prescribed by section 2502 of the Revised Statutes.

This conclusion, it may be observed, is evidence of the good will and indisposition of the United States to take advantage of the situation while a prospect of satisfactory adjustment remains, and it is earnestly hoped that the early removal by Guatemala of any discrimination against vessels of the United States, and the recession of the other Central American States from their present unjust position in this regard, will save the Government of the United States the necessity of entering upon a course of retaliation which can not fail to disturb our hitherto beneficial relations.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.